For years, I have read about lapbooks. Loved the idea, but . . . . . . . . . . they just seemed like a lot of work, and I wasn’t sure about the return on our time investment. So I put it off.
Then I discovered Homeschool Share, a website that let me download lots of free lapbooking materials. Many of the lapbooking resources correspond to Five In a Row books, which were either on our shelves or available at our local library. There was no thinking or planning for me. All I had to do was print the materials and jump in with both feet.
I gathered my courage and decided to tackle a lapbook with the girls, who were 4 yo and 2 yo at the time. I chose a simple one — The Carrot Seed. Again, I wasn’t sure the the girls would benefit from much learning. This particular lapbook seemed on the “light” side, and not intellectually challenging. But my girls were hungry to “do” school and loved coloring and using scissors and glue so . . . . . . .
The front cover of Rachel’s lapbook . . . .
Inside the lapbook, we have several minut books. The orange crayon minut book and brown crayon minut book open to reveal pictures the girls colored in the correct color.
A look inside the orange crayon minut book. See, I told you it wasn’t particularly challenging. My girls knew all their colors already, so they didn’t need teaching in colors. BUT, they enjoyed creating something so much and were very proud of their little minut books.
A peak inside the vegetable minut book . . . .
I realized that their joy in creating was an opportunity to teach them some skills. With the vegetable minut book, for instance, they got to practice cutting and gluing. They had to cut the veggie pictures out and glue them inside the book. It also gave them some sight reading practice.
When you flip open the center flap, it reveals more minut books inside. We have a “C is for . . . ” pocket. I’ll admit that I wasn’t too excited about this one. I thought it was kind of lame for a girl who was sounding out words when she was 2 years old. But Rachel and Prairie both loved it.
Again, some important learning went on in the process. They learned how to use one crayon at a time and then put it back, instead of dumping them all out on the table and floor. They learned how to get out the scissors, use them and put them back in their place.
This little minut book gave them handwriting practice (they traced), coloring practice, cutting practice, practice putting away materials, and reading practice.
More cutting, pasting and reading practice.
We did most of this lapbook in about 2 weeks —- one little minut book a day, usually about 10 – 15 minutes. I kept the little minut books in a folder. After we had collected quite a few, I took file folders, folded them into the center and placed the girls minut books inside.
The girls oooooohed and aaaaaaahed over their lapbooks. They carried them around the house, they opened and closed them and read them. They made the little cat and car and carrots talk to each other.
I waited for them to grow tired of them, so I could put them away on a shelf, most likely to collect dust. And you know what? It has been well over a year, and they still love those lapbooks. They have their special place on shelf, but they haven’t collected dust, because they are viewed and reviewed soooooo frequently.
I am just amazed at how much pride and joy the girls take in their little creations.
It has taken me almost a year, but we have begun a new lapbook —How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World. This one is a little more challenging, for the girls and for me. But it has been worth every moment. I can easily see the girls using their lapbook-making skills to do reports or present research as they grow older. I wish I had taken the time to try these with my boys when they were younger.